Assange questioning on sex crime charges ends in London; no decision yet
Prosecutors concluded a two-day interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday as part of an inquiry to determine whether to charge him with a possible sex crime dating back six years.world Updated: Nov 15, 2016 23:23 IST
Prosecutors concluded a two-day interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday as part of an inquiry to determine whether to charge him with a possible sex crime dating back six years.
No decision on a possible prosecution was made public after the questioning and prosecutors didn’t comment on the substance of the interview, which took place at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where Assange sought refuge more than four years ago.
Ecuadorean prosecutors asked the questions of Assange in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor and police investigator.
Prosecutors are focusing on an allegation of possible rape dating back to an incident in Sweden in 2010. Assange hasn’t been indicted and denies wrongdoing.
Swedish prosecutors will weigh his version of events before deciding whether to charge him with a crime. They will first receive a written report from Ecuadorean officials.
The investigation began after two women Assange met in Sweden complained to authorities about his behavior.
Officials said before the hearing began Monday that they would seek a DNA sample from Assange. It’s not clear if Assange gave his consent and provided a sample.
WikiLeaks officials complained that Assange’s Swedish lawyer wasn’t allowed to take part in the interview. He was represented by a lawyer from Ecuador.
Despite being cooped up in the embassy in a posh district in central London, Assange has remained at the helm of WikiLeaks, which recently released a trove of hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Assange has said for years that his main legal concern is being extradited to the U.S. to face possible charges there related to WikiLeaks’ role in releasing classified documents.
US officials haven’t indicated whether there is a grand jury indictment against Assange. Grand jury proceedings are secret in the U.S.